Earlier this week, a post made by a Facebook user named Liv went viral. The long post documented an upsetting experience she had on an overnight flight from China to Malaysia.
During her flight, Liv and her daughter were seated at their assigned places and her young daughter, Olivia, was fast asleep next to her. Suddenly, a lady who was seated next to Liv angrily tapped her on her shoulder.
The young lady explained that Liv’s bag touched her hand and wanted her to apologise for that. Understandably, Liv was confused over why the young adult was upset over such a small thing, and explained to her that the bag didn’t hurt her.
All of a sudden, the 22 year-old girl reached over and hit Liv’s daughter, startling the poor girl from her sleep!
Obviously, Liv became furious at the girl for hitting her daughter and asked her why she did that. The lady simply replied “Well, you hit me first so I’ll hit your child.”
Outraged by her reasoning, Liv called for the flight attendant a while later and asked them to move the girl away from her and her daughter.
“We continued to argue for a while before I asked the crew to move her away from us. After moving her from us, the crew then took our statement. And I explained the situation (as above). They then came back to me and said that her statement was that I touched her with my bag and refused to apologise
“Through out the rest of the flight, her statements changed from one to another as stated below:
1. She touched me with her bag and didn’t apologise.
2. She hit my hand so hard with the leather strap of her bag.
3. The leather strap of her bag hit my face when she moved it from her seat.”
Once they landed, Liv, her daughter and the girl went to the airport police station accompanied by the flight staff and security.
After Liv gave her statement at the station, the girl suddenly demanded to see a doctor to look at her “injuries” she claimed was caused by Liv’s bag and showed a bleeding cut on her hand.
Liv knew something didn’t feel right at that moment. Why would this girl resort to harming herself just so she could blame it on her?
Soon after that, the police told them that if Liv were to proceed with making her report, the girl would be put in lock-up, so she half-heartedly said, “Okay, fine. I’m sorry.”
Liv then gave the girl an option to talk to her parents. While they were waiting for the girl’s parents to arrive, she was being very rude to the police, airline staff, and Liv.
At that point, Liv had enough and said she would go ahead with making the report. This seemed to have shaken the girl, because she sincerely apologised after that.
Luckily for the girl, Liv decided against making the report in the end and got to speak to her father when he arrived at the station.
As she was speaking to him, the girl’s father revealed that the girl was indeed mentally ill and had bipolar disorder. The reason why she was on the flight home from China was because she wasn’t taking her medication and needed better care.
Liv’s patience and understanding definitely saved her from being thrown into lock-up.
According to the Malaysian Psychiatric Association, bipolar disorder is classified by dramatic mood changes. People who suffer from this disorder can engage in risky and dangerous behaviour if it isn’t properly managed with therapy and medication.
However, if people with this disorder get proper treatment, they can lead perfectly normal, fulfilling lives.
Liv empathised with the girl’s father, being a parent herself. She expressed in her post that she didn’t want to make the report because the girl’s actions showed that she needed help.
Sending this girl to jail wouldn’t help her in any way and it would ruin her life, since her Chinese student visa would be revoked if she were to be locked up.
Liv ended her post by saying,
“We have to fix people who needs fixing. Because what happened today is not the kind of world I want to leave for my future generations.”
Mental illness is often a neglected issue not only in Malaysia, but the world over. Change can only be brought about when ordinary citizens like Liv try to understand mentally ill people and do their best to help them instead of condemning them.